The internet was supposed to set us free, but its original creators–people like Tim Berners Lee–couldn’t predict the future importance of their creation nor some of the key utilities that prevent it from meeting its full democratic potential. That’s a bold statement, given how much we rely on the internet, but those who have studied its impact closely understand which pieces are missing. Without a way for one to safely identify themselves, for example, sites like MySpace and then Facebook became the de-facto internet ID. Another bootstrapped feature of the internet is its funnel-like content model, which makes servers the authorities that host and capture data. These and other functions absent in the World Wide Web have made it unnecessarily difficult for individuals to support themselves with the internet alone.
Blockchain popularized the idea of participants in a decentralized network sharing responsibility for organizing and verifying transactions, instead of for-profit centralized methods that accomplish the same objective. It also restores an individual’s control over their online self, which has a very positive effect on the role of single ‘nodes’ in any blockchain system. Accordingly, entrepreneurial individuals using blockchain to earn a living can cut out middlemen, keep their data to themselves, and access P2P models that help them stay leaner than opaque dot-com-era alternatives.
Freelancers Are Free
Of the services that best highlight how the internet has made it easier to covertly extract value, any of the numerous freelancer sites available are exemplary. Those like Upwork, Freelancer.com and Fiverr provide platforms that aggregate employers and their available remote jobs, but charge hefty fees for the privilege. It’s not uncommon for them to skim 20% off the top or more, which strangles the workers inhabiting their platforms. However, with a lack of options and a plethora of freelancers willing to work for pennies, the system has persisted.
Coinlancer is the blockchain-based disruption of this frustratingly opaque model. The platform’s users aren’t held hostage by the high fees universal among last-generation platforms, as blockchain’s distributed resource paradigm cuts overhead significantly. Coinlancer charges small, reasonable fees for running their decentralized jobs marketplace, and streamlines the flow of money through the ecosystem with CL (Coinlancer tokens). To reduce arbitration woes and lessen expenses even further, each deal made on the platform requires that the two parties use escrow and smart contracts to explicitly outline the conditions that will release payment. It’s a simple yet effective solution for the pains plaguing those who currently freelance online. As the platform gains momentum (it’s scheduled for the second quarter of 2018) CL will gain greater visibility within the industry and boost the value that all its participants receive.
Be the Blockchain’s IT Infrastructure
Entrepreneurs in the blockchain arena won’t simply transplant their existing skills to a fresh environment, they can also find new roles in the blockchain ecosystem as pillars of support. Many platforms offer lucrative token rewards to users who simply grease their wheels, almost like how miners earn bitcoin for verifying and processing transactions. Dash is one of the oldest anonymity coins to do this, meaning that it’s essentially a more secure version of bitcoin that better protects the identity behind any transaction on the ledger.
Individuals with enough Dash can choose to be a ‘masternode’, which plays a more prominent position on the network. Masternodes are like a savings account that has a minimum balance—users who fill this role must have at least 1,000 DASH—and just like a savings account, it gains interest. More like a reward for adding a stronger layer of decentralization to the network, and supervising the ‘instant send’ and ‘private send’ functions, a masternode currently requires around $700,000 worth of Dash to run. Those who got into the program early managed to do it for much cheaper, but that can be said about any cryptocurrency timeline. The point is that for Dash masternodes, simply holding cryptocurrency is enough to supplement one’s income (if not be its single source).
Blockchain Rental Revolution
Entrepreneurial endeavors can be streamlined by ancillary blockchain solutions as well. The traditional rental economy, for instance, suffers from several bottlenecks that make truly remote property rental a pipedream. Without someone on-site to ensure all proper papers and checks are signed, set the expectation that disputes will be arbitrated fairly and other administrative tasks, renting an apartment becomes much riskier. Now, those who support themselves by managing and renting property can rely on solutions like AverSpace, which effectively migrates these tasks to the blockchain.
AverSpace is a remote smart contract suite that helps landlords set explicit conditions in leases, take rental and bill payments in cryptocurrency, and autonomously arbitrate disputes in the agreement. Ledger transparency means that trusted smart contracts and remote signing are enforceable, reducing input and fees that are otherwise paid to agents and property managers. This makes the job much more hands-off, and helps landlords keep their attention undivided, free to grow the business instead of handling administration (or paying for it).
Blockchain in the Future
The power of the individual, latent in the current centralized internet construct, will soon be unlocked thanks to blockchain technology. Our existing internet model makes it easy to participate, but not to compete: yet this is quickly changing. Getting an edge amidst the internet’s competition is difficult because those who have entrenched themselves intentionally install barriers to entry for others. By comparison, blockchain offers a system that adds value to everyone the stiffer competition becomes. As its most innovative platforms gain users and notoriety, an internet-reliant population of entrepreneurs will make the switch, and show the rest of them how the grass truly is greener.
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